LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Redesign Rotherham streets around people

DURING the pandemic, many of us rediscovered the simple act of walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. Walking kept us connected to ourselves and to others and helped us to stay healthy and happy.

Walking is good for our minds, our bodies, and our cities, towns and villages.

But lots of us still struggle with narrow, cluttered, uneven pavements; crossings that prioritise cars rather than people; and growing numbers of speeding vehicles. Pedestrians accounted for 40 per cent of fatalities on the roads in the four local authorities of South Yorkshire in 2020.

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It doesn’t have to be like this. That’s why I support the demands Living Streets has made ahead of this year's elections, calling on candidates to pledge to improve our streets for all, cut air pollution and make walking easier and safer (Visit livingstreets.org.uk/may22 for more information).

Candidates must commit to set Vision Zero targets of significant reductions in people killed and injured on our roads. We call for commitments on default 20mph speed limits in built-up areas, improvements to our crossings and junctions and an increase in the number of low traffic neighbourhoods. One person killed on our roads is one too many.

It is time we redesigned our streets around people, not cars. That way we can all enjoy the benefits of walking and build healthier, happier communities.

David Smith, Park Close, Rotherham